Matt Gillett talks with Anthony Seibold at training.
Matt Gillett talks with Anthony Seibold at training. DAN PELED

Durko's dissections: NRL previews for Round 4

BRONCOS coach Anthony Seibold has ended his positional experiment with Matt Gillett who return to the back-row for Thursday night's clash against the Roosters.

Gillett played the opening three rounds of the premiership at lock but Seibold has shifted him back into the No.12 jumper for Brisbane's daunting road trip to face the reigning premiers.

The move will mean Tevita Pangai Jnr will have a chance to impress in the No.13 jersey.


Thursday, Suncorp Stadium, 6.50pm (AEST)

History: Played 48, Broncos 29, Roosters 19. Last met: Broncos 22-8, round 24, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Roosters $1.53, Broncos $2.45

Hopefully - for the legion of Broncos fans - Tevita Pangai Junior proves tonight he is worth somewhere near the $1 million a season the Roosters are allegedly offering, because last week he was feather-duster class. But he wasn't alone in a young team that was a mere shadow of the side that demolished the Cowboys a week earlier. The return tonight of tough prop Matt Lodge will be crucial - as will the loss of Roosters' skipper Jake Friend - but with Cooper Cronk returning only a massive attitude switch will give the Broncos any chance against the premiers. TIP - Roosters

Ash Taylor has been named in the Titans line-up. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING
Ash Taylor has been named to start against the Warriors. DAVE HUNT


Friday, Mt Smart Stadium, 5pm (AEST)

History: Played 24, Warriors 16, Titans 8. Last met: Titans 36-12, round 20, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Warriors $1.53, Titans $2.45

The Titans may be the only winless team after three rounds, but following the lethargy displayed last weekend, surely the question needs to be asked how the soulless Warriors have managed a victory. At least the Titans dug deep against the Rabbitohs and showed some genuine fight, and with halves Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts returning, a win isn't far away. But their 8-3 domination at home, and a massive guilt complex, might just sway this in favour of the Warriors who have conceded 80 points in two weeks. TIP - Warriors

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Nathan Cleary of the Panthers looks dejected during the NRL Semi Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers at Allianz Stadium on September 14, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Nathan Cleary has been feeling the pressure. Cameron Spencer


Friday, Panthers Stadium, 6.55pm (AEST)

History: Played 33, Panthers 20, Tigers 13. Last met: Panthers 16-2, round 11, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Panthers $1.53, Tigers $2.45

Ivan Cleary won't mind the blazing spotlight beaming on his first clash with the club he deserted during the summer - it takes some of the heat off his under-performing players, and in particular his son Nathan. Tipped by many to be a premiership force, the Panthers are sitting 14th with the second least points scored, and have looked totally out of sorts. But the defensive bubble of the Tigers burst at the weekend and more will follow if the Panthers happen to sharpen their claws in the important return of Viliame Kikau. TIP - Panthers

South Sydney Rabbitohs player Greg Inglis takes part in a team training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Wednesday, March 20, 2019. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING
Greg Inglis remains in doubt. JOEL CARRETT


Saturday, Lottoland, 2pm (AEST)

History: Played 141, Sea Eagles 76, Rabbitohs 65. Last met: Rabbitohs 34-6, round 3, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Sea Eagles $2.65, Rabbitohs $1.47

Despite the return of Tom Trbojevic and a last-start win over the Warriors, the Sea Eagles will need their best performance and a host of luck to beat the rampant Rabbitohs. But with Greg Inglis and Cody Walker in doubt and the returning George Burgess underdone, this is a good opportunity for the home side to spring an upset with a record of 33-23 at Lottoland. The forward clash promises much. TIP - Rabbitohs

Michael Morgan . NRL; North Queensland Cowboys training at 1300Smiles Stadium. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Michael Morgan will need to lift he Cowboys. Alix Sweeney


Saturday, 13000Smiles Stadium, 4.30pm (AEST)

History: Played 41, Raiders 23, Cowboys 18. Last met: Raiders 38-12, round 18, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Cowboys $1.90, Raiders $1.90

When the Cowboys beat the Dragons in round one, the consensus was they were back on track after a disastrous 2018. But after having had 71 points run by them in successive weeks - and without both JTs - the jury is well and truly out once again. Conversely, the Raiders have seemingly overcome their previous discipline issues and appear a resolute outfit this season. The home ground - and the heat - gives the Cowboys an advantage, but to win they will need to lift majorly. TIP - Raiders

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks player Andrew Fifita (centre) participates in a drill during a team training session ahead of Week 1 of the NRL Finals Series at Southern Cross Group Stadium in Sydney, Wednesday, September 5, 2018. The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks face the Sydney Roosters in a qualifying final at Allianz Stadium on Saturday. (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito) NO ARCHIVING
Andrew Fifita will be key for the Sharks. BRENDAN ESPOSITO


Saturday, ANZ Stadium, 6.35pm (AEST)

History: Played 85, Sharks 46, Eels 39. Last met: Sharks 22-20, round 9, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Eels $1.97, Sharks $1.83

The Sharks' loss of Matt Moylan and possibly Paul Gallen brings the greatly-improved Eels up to a level-pegging chance, although they will miss the attacking impetus of impressive new five-eighth Dylan Brown. With the forward battle expected to decide the eventual outcome, look for another big performance from Andrew Fifita who has started the season on fire. TIP - Sharks

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 11: Injured Bulldogs player Kieran Foran watches on from the grandstand during the round 14 NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium on June 11, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Kieran Foran will be watching from the grandstand. Mark Kolbe


Sunday, AAMI Park, 4.05pm

History: Played 39, Bulldogs 21, Storm 18. Last met: Storm 36-18, round 1, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Storm $1.12, Bulldogs $6

As strange as this may seem, the Bulldogs are one of the few NRL clubs with the wood on the Storm - statistically, that is. But despite their impressive return to form at the weekend the 'Dogs don't appear to have the class, or the attack, to trouble the most disciplined team in the competition. The loss of Kieran Foran is massive, and the Storm simply don't lose games like these. TIP - Storm

Kalyn Ponga will line up in the No.1 jersey. (AAP Image/Darren Pateman)
Kalyn Ponga will shift back to fullback. DARREN PATEMAN


Sunday, McDonald Jones, 6.10pm (AEST)

History: Played 37, Dragons 26, Knights 11. Last met: Dragons 24-14, round 25, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Knights $1.72, Dragons $2.10

Sentiment could play a big part in this vital steel-city match-up. Not only are both one-game winners playing for valuable competition points, but the Alex McKinnon Cup - never won by the Knights - is up for grabs. And the Dragons, minus their inspirational skipper Gareth Widdop, will need to overcome the emotion associated with the massive win over the Broncos last weekend. Most interest, however, appears to be on the performance of Kalyn Ponga, who returns to fullback. TIP - Dragons